TENS of thousands have fled to safety as Typhoon Rammasun made landfall in Philippines’ Bicol region, World Vision said this week.
More than 30,000 families are now sheltering in evacuation centres as thousands more flee to safety on the eve of the storm according to World Vision Philippine’s Emergency Communicator Aaron Aspi.
“World Vision has begun distribution of emergency kits and installation of generators in evacuation centres. Response teams are on standby to support government efforts if needed,” Mr Aspi said.
World Vision staff are working with government authorities and disaster units alerting communities along the storm’s path to take precautionary measures.
“Search and rescue teams have been dispatched while local government and agencies, like World Vision, are prepositioning relief supplies for distribution in evacuation centres,” Mr Apsi said.
“Sea ports have been closed for safety and more than 50 flights have been grounded, stranding thousands of passengers. Power cuts and rising flood waters are hitting communities in the eye of the storm.”
There are storm warnings in up to 30 areas including Manila, the country’s capital. Manila bay and other coastal areas in Luzon and Visayas have been declared ‘no walk zones’ and are off-limits as Rammasun could bring waves that reach up to 24 feet.
Rammasun is the strongest storm to hit the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan tore through the archipelago eight months ago leaving more than 8000 people dead and missing.
Although not charting the same course as Haiyan, the outer bands of Typhoon Rammasun stretch around 500km in diameter, bringing strong rains in Haiyan affected areas prompting evacuation, World Vision Haiyan Response Operations Manager, Australian Jennifer MacCann said.
“World Vision’s Typhoon Haiyan response team continue to support ongoing recovery efforts and have prepositioned goods on standby for affected families,” Ms MacCann said.
To donate to World Vision’s Emergency Preparedness Fund call 13 32 40 or visit www.worldvision.com.au/emergencies
Source: World Vision Australia